Monday, August 13, 2012

Beastie Boys Sue Monster Energy Drink


When Adam Yauch died, he stated in his will, what he always stated in his music, that he didn't want his music used in commercials. Monster Energy Drink uses Beastie Boys music in their promotional videos for events so now the remaining Beastie Boys and Adam's estate have sued Monster. I think this is going to be tough for the rest of the band in the future. What if they need money? What if Adam's family needs money? His estate had $6M in it when he died, which seems like a lot, but I think included a house. Not too many assets for them to liquidate and Adam didn't have a Graceland for people to come visit. Selling your songs for commercials or promotional videos is an easy way to make a lot of money. The thing of it is that his estate is going to be spending a whole lot of his money in legal fees trying to grant his wish.

33 comments:

Beth said...

He only had $6 million. I'm really surprised.

I wonder if he donated a lot of his income to Tibetan causes.

Texshan said...

At first I was surprised, too, but then I thought about it and realized it made sense. First, they never used their music for marketing, so all of their money came from concerts -- which they haven't done for years -- and recording sales, which isn't where the real money is anymore. Also, remember they had to split the money three ways. I imagine he also put money into a trust for his daughter and gave a lot of money to Tibetan independence causes, as you theorized. So I guess $6 million isn't all that surprising, really.

CharRicho said...

Seems like 6 million should keep his wife and daughter living pretty decently until she is grown (she is 14 or something now), and I suppose it would be too much to expect that after that she and her mother would, you know, WORK, like normal people.

Beth said...

@Char, what is this "work" thing you speak of?

Anonymous said...

Such a decent human being........Id have gone for the money, though.


Amber said...

Mike and Adam aren't exactly sitting around hoping someone will ask them to perform Beastie Boys songs with Yauch's hologram. They both have other projects/careers, and have for quite some time. Also, I don't think they care about being massively wealthy.

Agent**It said...

" Monster Energy Drink uses Beastie Boys music in their promotional videos for events". How does that work? Wouldn't somebody have to sign off on that deal?

Free Tibet.

Jolene Jolene said...

Haha @char. That's exactly what I was going to say. Maybe his family doesn't need to rely on only the money Adam left them because maybe they have, like, jobs. Maybe...

FSP said...

Damn I miss him.

discoflux said...

Just Saturday evening as we were listening to the Beasties, we were commenting how surreal it still feels to know that Adam Yauch is dead. I have major respect for the fact that they kept their music out of commercials and deeply respected the work he did for Tibetan freedom. RIP, Adam.

Free Tibet.

Now! said...

@Agent, I believe it is the owners of the song publishing rights, who are not necessarily the artists themselves, who sign off on the use of songs for promotional purposes.

Remember how Michael Jackson bought the rights to the Beatles' songs and then pimped them out for ads all over the place?

I believe Paul and Yoko are getting back rights to the 1962 Lennon-McCartney songs this year, however, as the original 50-year copyrights run out.

Leviathan's Phone said...

Wow! Are you really fretting about how these poor millionaires will make ends meet without advertising revenues?

My guess is, they'll do it the same way the other hundred and fifty million Americans -- the ones who don't have advertisers throwing millions at us if we'll deign to let them use our creations -- do, day in and day out, all over America.

I don't weep for them.

Now! said...

Would also like to point out that songs like "Fight for Your Right To Party" are worth a lot of money to advertisers pitching products to teenagers - money which could be donated to the Tibet independence campaign.

Commercials also help revive songs and keep them alive for a new audience: this has happened with a lot of old Motown hits. Commercials are not all bad.

Now! said...

Apologies - just looked it up. The copyright terms are 56 years for living artists, so Paul won't get back the rights to his songs until 2018, and in the meantime Sony can do whatever it wants with them.

Yoko cut a deal for her percentage of the songs long ago.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/08/10/us-beatles-idUSTRE5790IA20090810

Agent**It said...

@Nutty_Flavor, thanks for that info.

alabrava said...

My theory on this is they'd been dealing with his illness for a while, most likely if he had more money, he transferred as much as possible around to avoid paying much in the way of estate tax. I think they've got more than 6 mil.

lolaluvs2snack said...

Having your music in commercials introduces your music to new people that may not have every thought or knew of your music. So,that is really silly of him. Why would he not want to expose more people to his music?

Susan said...

I admire him that he doesn't want his music used in commercials. I'm sure his family will be just fine with a measly $6 million. And maybe he and his wife are teaching his child/ren to earn a living rather than hang onto the coattails of Daddy. Imagine that.

El Roy 13 said...

@agent **it -not if the record label actually owned the rights.

//I'm not sure but I'm pretty sure that the "stars" make all of their money off touring not off record sales.

El Roy 13 said...

and remember, what's the other guys name, Ad-rock? (not the one who was married to Iona Skye) but his grandmother was one of NYC wealthiest women so he's def not hurting for cash.

and I think but am not sure that the other guy (mike d...it's coming back to me), that his family were wealthy NY Jews too. (hey...it's true)

Cassiopeia said...

Good for him for not wanting to sell out.
I agree with Susan.
He had time to plan; I am sure his family will be well taken care of.

El Roy 13 said...

///sorry (I fried my brain in a research mth madness hole last night, and after a screaming, sam kinison style match with my son....I feel like I'm still just coming to)

I believe that adam yoch (sp?) that his family were humble in comparison to the other two. I'm sorry but if you can only imagine the sort of money we are talking about, sitting in banks, collecting interest, no $6 mil is nothing. To us, it would be a lot, but in their world it's nada.

Hammer_Girl said...

His wife has control o his estate and the only rule was his "image" could not be used for advertisement purposes. Therefore, his music can be used with permission from the estate. I think there is more to it then monster using their music.

SkittleKitty said...

I think it was short-sighted for the financial security of his family, though very principled if he felt that strongly about it.

Re: Legal fees.
Surely the estate won't sue if they don't have a reasonable chance of winning--and surely the winnings would--at a minimum--pay the legal fees (ought to, or the estate could be eaten up quickly).

Amber said...

OMAMA, Adrock is Adam Horowitz, Mike D is Michael Diamond, and MCA is (was) Adam Yauch.

krk67 said...

NYTimes headline (unlike others) framed this right:
Adam Yauch's will protects his artistic integrity.

We really do need more integrity. Artistic and otherwise.

Susan said...

"We really do need more integrity. Artistic and otherwise."

OMG. I so agree with you. I am a huge lova of Bon Jovi (I also am crazy about Debussy and Chopin, so I don't feel badly saying that I am huge lova of Bon Jovi.) Anyway, earlier this year when I was watching my programs, and Jon Bon Jovi comes on rocking it in an ad hawking Aleve or Tylenol or some other headache pill, I literally dropped my magazine and yelled, "The FUCK?!" I mean really, why does Jon Bon Jovi need to peddle over-the-counter pills?! He's A-list for life. Maybe he just feels really strongly about headache meds.

AuntJess said...

He didn't wanna go the Fred Astair route of dancing with a vacuum after death. Don't blame him.

__-__=__ said...

Yes, more integrity please. You can't put a price on that.

Hammer_Girl said...

Got bored and looked up the lawsuit. Monster pieced together diffrent BB songs and also videos without permission. They also used their name and such stating they indorsed monster when they didn't. This is a copyright infringement lawsuit that happens to coincide with the release of Yauch's will.

Bangagong said...

He had cancer for something like 3 years. He probably ran through a bunch of $ just through hospital bills. Musicians aren't unionized like actors so they have to get their insurance independently.

WUWT? said...

So, no for advertising, what about for shows like the (now cancelled) Cold Case, which used songs from specific time periods to set the mood of an era? Is his music off limits for uses like that too? Because that show would feature a case from the early 80s, and suddenly I would hear and remember a song I knew and liked but had never heard since, and I'd go order in online (the WHOLE CD! rare to do these days, I know). That type of thing would be a good way for a new audience to find them, better than commercials.

(Man, I miss that show.)

Lelaina Pierce said...

^I miss that show, too.

ITA with Susan. I hate when artists sell out so I respect this decision.

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